Sunday, March 19, 2017

Enjoy a St. Joseph Table with Friends

Some years life is busy, but a St. Joseph feast day celebration with friends comes together anyway. 

That's just what happened for us last year. 

Life was a bit crazy for me and mine, but through the grace of God and a collective effort from friends, we were able to enjoy a lovely St. Joseph table and celebration at a friend's home.

Our Feast Table

Our table was not set in the traditional 3-tier style, but plenty of tradition and symbolism were displayed upon it.

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We used a white tablecloth, a statue of Joseph, candles, and flowers, as are traditional.  We also included images of Joseph from two favorite inexpensive books -
Prayers to My Favorite Saints and Prayers to the Saints - and some prayers cards. 

Wine (and grape juice) helped us remember the Miracle at Cana, while olives, dried figs, and olive oil brought to mind the vineyards of Sicily.

White lilies were a symbol of Joseph.  Gluten-free bread rolls were going to be made into symbolic shapes, but ended up being just "as is".  Pasta Milanese with Mudrica "sawdust" for Joseph was also served.

Gluten-Free pasta and bread was use for traditional pasta with honey.  Greens and vegetables were served as was fruit, which is also traditionally on a Joseph's table or altar.

A St. Joseph peg doll from a saint peg doll swap we had done earlier in the year also adorned the table, along with the book
Good Saint Joseph, which we read during craft time.  Almonds were strewn on the table, too, since the almond tree is characteristic among the flora of the Mediterranean, where the tradition of the St. Joseph table originated.

GFCF tortillas were cut into symbolic shapes by the children. 

A simplified version of traditional  pupa cu l'ova, or bread baked with Easter eggs, reminded us that Easter neared.

My family's traditional "flowering staff of Joseph" was laid out, surrounded by images cut from the FREE printable Joseph memory Match playing cards Jessica shared at Shower of Roses.

Fava beans  -a sustaining food fir families of Sicily which is now considered "lucky" were also served, as were fish (in place of the 12 whole fish that are meant to represent the apostles or the miracle of the loaves and fishes) and grapes (to remind us of Sicily).

There were other dishes on the table that our children enjoy eating, too.  Truly, for a rather last-minute celebration, our potluck style created quite a feast!

A Little Learning

We kicked off our evening with a quick, opening prayer and chat about St. Joseph.  I drew the children's attention to the images of St. Joseph in the books on the table -  Prayers to My Favorite Saints and Prayers to the Saints - and asked if they could find any symbolism in them.  I also asked them to tell me what they knew, in general, about St. Joseph, and used a FREE printable about St. Joseph, Husband of Mary from the Institute for Christian Formation to teach the children more about St. Joseph and the tradition of St. Joseph tables. 

Some Prayer

Before eating, we asked the father of our host family to lead us all in blessing our St. Joseph table ...

...and praying the Litany of St. Joseph using a free printable from St. Joseph's Church.

We also, of course, prayed grace, and I read the St. Joseph prayer from Prayers to My Favorite Saints and Prayers to the Saints.

Then, it was time to "finally" eat.  The children were so eager to dig in!

A Bit of Crafting and Storytelling

After food, the children enjoyed playing inside and out while the grown ups cleared the table...

Then, the children created "stained glass" crafts...

To do so, children chose images of St. Joseph to color and cut out.  Then, they cut out holes on another paper and put metallic paper or tissue paper behind holes before gluing the St. Joseph images on to make the "stained glass" windows.

While the children crafted, I read portions of Good Saint Joseph to the children and summarized other parts, occasionally drawing the children's attention to images in the book or asking them to narrate to me what they knew about parts of St. Joseph's life.

A Few Gifts

The night wound down with little gifts for the children.  A friend had brought St. Joseph stained glass sticker suncatchers for each family as well as St. Joseph prayer cards and medals for each child.

Our Inspiration

We drew inspiration for our celebration from:

Plus, our own past celebrations and ideas, including:

However you observe St. Joseph's day, may your day be blessed and beautiful.
St. Joseph, pray for us.

This post was shared at the 40 Days of Seeking Him Link up


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